Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kari was here

So last weekend, our latest visitor to Camp Robinson was my friend and old college roommate, Kari. She now lives in Denver and has done the quick stop-ins in JH, but never got the full experience, until now...

Right off the plane we whisked her away to the deck on Dornan's (for sure the best deck in the park to watch the sun set behind the Tetons) to cheers to her arrival...

And she obviously needed to throw a few back to get in the swing of things here.

Then we hit up the carnival which was in town for the week of the Teton County Fair

We got seriously nauseous from our first 3 rides (that huge dragon/boat swing thing, this Superman flying guy and "The Experience" which I later dubbed "The most horrible Experience EVER), so we had to end it with a nice mellow Ferris wheel...

And you know what that means? Another one crossed off the list! Yikes I better get moving on the rest of those!

Happy (slightly sick) customers

The next day we went on a float on the Snake River and I did most of the rowing because I am just nice like that. Kari definitely beat Trev on her fish count...including this monster that almost (but not quite) made it into the boat.

This was Trev's catch of the day (well besides me of course)

And a happy Kari in front of the Tetons.

To be continued....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

End of Alaska

So wrapping up our trip...nearing the end, the sun finally came out and we experienced what a cruise ship should really be like!

Playing shuffleboard on the top deck

Trev and Rob swimming in the back pool

My mad shuffleboard skills, you see that reach? yep, of course I beat Trev

Trev showing off for the crowd

We were totally becoming professional cruisers by this point

See told you

Last stop of the trip was at the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C. which was awesome. It used to be a woman's house and she would have friends over for tea and everyone would admire her gardening handiwork...then she got the bright idea to start charging people and the rest is history!

Some of my faves

The grandchildren pic, I love this one.
L to R: Sarah Robinson, Kate, Clai and Trevor around Grandpa Jim and Grannie De

These aren't real, but still cool, right?

Linda looking for a Christmas card pic...a hard task given the gazillion people swarming around the gardens and the general reluctance of everyone to want to stop and take the pic (doesn't that happen in every family?)

Quick fun fact...they grow all their flowers in greenhouses and then transplant them to the gardens, so if any flowers wilt or die, they just go grab some more from the greenhouse and re-plant, so the gardens are always changing. They were cool.

Back to our massive home away from home

And the final morning we cruised into Seattle at 6am just catching an awesome sunrise

Our flight didn't leave until the afternoon, so our friend Jack Holland showed us some sites and obviously we were excited for the tour!

At the Pike Place Market in Seattle...I think I would have a weekly flower habit if I lived here! Huge bunches like this one for only $10!!

Yum, doesn't this just say summer?

Here's Jack, giving us an alley tour. He is a very proud employee of the city recycling program.

Sending you a message in front of Seattle's awesome library

And home, Mt. Rainier, exhausted.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau and Skagway

Chels enjoying the cold and beauty of "Tracy Arm." This was a big fjord that we motored up all the way until the captain deemed it unsafe due to the huge icebergs in the water. We though it was amazing how far up we got in addition to how well the boat was able to maneuver in such a small space.

Gorgeous Tracy Arm

Kind of surreal pool setting while cruising up in the fjord. This was the view from the back on the boat at 8am.

Shot taken from the 15th floor of the cruise ship looking down on some of the balconies below

This was another cruise ship identical to the one we were on cruising up the arm as we were on our way out. Gives you an idea for the scale and sheer size of the fjord and arm.

If you look closely and or double click on this shot, you can see what appears to be a very small boat on the right hand side of the cruise ship. In actuality, it was a good sized yacht that was made to look tiny with the huge cruise ship next to it. The smaller boat actually got behind the cruise ship to motor in the wake and avoid bigger icebergs.

Chels and Trev hanging out near the Mendenhall Glacier. A short bus ride from the boat, this was our on shore excursion once we reached Juneau.

The unfortunately rapidly receding Mendenhall Glacier.

Train up to Fraser, British Columbia via Skagway, AK. We took this 23 mile ride up to the Canada/US border. The train was installed at the turn of the last century and was used during the gold rush days and now is a tourist attraction.

All the fam after our chilly train trip

Holy &*%#, this is one big boat.

Classic SE Alaska scene. Fishing boat and beautiful scenery.

We were treated to a really pretty evening when sailing south from our northernmost port of Skagway back to Victoria, BC

Grandpa Jim, Trev, and Grannie De enjoying some soft serve cones on board the ship.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Seattle and off to Ketchikan, Alaska

After a really fun-filled weekend in Port Townsend, we took a ferry to Seattle to meet up with our cruise ship

On board the cruise ship "Star Princess" leaving the Seattle harbor

Soon after leaving Seattle the weather turned pretty ugly and was cold (In the 50's) for almost the entire week of the cruise. This kept the crowds down on the upper decks of the boat. Big game of chess going on while I am chillin' in the hot tub. This is a night club behind with the blue windows.

Chels and Becky (cousin Clai's girlfriend) sipping wine before a formal dinner on board the ship. There were two of these on our week-long voyage.

Cousin Clai having a cocktail at one of the many nightclubs on board. Outside of the massive boat swaying every now and again in big swells, it was sometimes hard to remember we were actually on a boat and not in a huge hotel on land.

Seals and a lighthouse viewed from a smaller boat that we took on one of our "on shore excursions." Most of the time the huge cruise ship would sail through the night and then get into a port town in the early morning. Then you would have the opportunity to get off the boat and explore whichever town you were docked at for most of the day.

Cool shot of an island outside the Ketchikan harbor

We must have seen close to 100 bald eagles on our 3 hour boat tour around Ketchikan, AK. Can you spot the one in this pic?

Clai and Becky attempting to stay warm on the top deck

After our on shore excursions were finished, the timing normally allowed for Chels and Me to do our favortie activity when in a new town. That is, simply walking through towns and exploring and essentially getting lost just trying to see what the town is like behind all the tourist shops hawking goods right off the cruise ships. All of Ketchikan is only accessible via airplane and or by a ferry and there were these boardwalks going all over town to give access to houses. The cars in town that are brought in by ferry can only drive 30 miles before the roads ends.

Click on this shot to get a closer look and you can see exactly where our room for the week was on the "Star Princess." We were on the 12th floor and got plenty of exercise walking up and down the stairs boycotting the elevators! At port in Ketchikan, AK

Enjoying Alaska's finest right from the source! Everything was pretty expensive in AK, even in local establishments not affiliated with tourists whatsoever. Beers at this bar in Ketchikan were $6.50!

This shot is a classic!!! You may remember last fall when all Sarah Palin could talk about was the famed "bridge to nowhere." Well, here is the exact location that the bridge was proposed. It was supposed to go from Ketchikan (on right bank) to the Ketchikan airport (on the left side). As it stands now, you fly into Ketchikan airport on the left and take a ferry over to the mainland on the right. The bridge was proposed to go across the water, however, it had to be at least 16 stories tall to accommodate cruise ships coming under it. Off course, as you can clearly see, it was a boondoggle "pork-barrel" congressional expenditure extraordinaire!

The sun did come out every now and again treating us to awesome views. This is a shot sailing north along the "Inland Passage" from Ketchican up to Juneau, AK.